INTRODUCTION OF QUICK RESPONSE CODES IN GHANA
A QR code (short for "quick response" code) is a type of barcode that contains a matrix of dots. All QR codes have a square shape and include three square outlines in the bottom-left, top-left, and top-right corners. These square outlines define the orientation of the code. The dots within the QR code contain format and version information as well as the content itself. It can be scanned using a QR scanner or a smartphone with a built-in camera. Once scanned, software on the device converts the dots within the code into useful numbers or a string of characters.
Ghana made tech history once again by becoming the first Country in Africa to deploy the universal QR barcode payment system. Taking into consideration the Country’s current impressive mobile phone penetration figure of about 137 per cent, and its positive mobile money wallet growth trajectory, the adoption of the above mentioned will go a significant way in further driving financial inclusion as well as bringing the nation closer to achieving its target of a cash-lite society. These will be achieved by allowing businesses and traders to undertake electronic transactions without Point of Sale devices (PoS’).
Some other added benefits of QR codes over standard barcodes are their ability to store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. QR codes also do not require a specialized hand-held scanner to scan them, additionally, they can be scanned from a screen.
Standard UPC scanners use a laser to scan barcodes, which means they typically cannot scan a UPC from a screen (like a smartphone). QR scanners, however, are designed to capture 2D images printed on paper or displayed on a screen. This essentially means that customers can use their mobile phones to make direct payments which are then deposited electronically into the bank account of the merchants.